Autumn in NY: Broccolini, White Bean + Pecorino Pasta

I made this pasta on that first cool night when summer was noticeably coming to an end. With the windows wide-open, we cuddled up on our couch, sipped on red wine and overheard tunes from a west village neighborhood stoop-singing group singing the doo wop classics like”Daddy’s Home” and ” Blue Moon”.

Great New York moment.

Broccolini, White Bean and Pecorino Pasta
Ingredients
8 ounces whole-wheat shells or chiocciole pasta
1 large bunch of broccolini, (or broccoli rabe or spinach) trimmed and cut into 1-inch pieces
1 1/2 cups of vegetable broth
1 Tbsp flour
2 Tbsp extra-virgin olive oil
4 cloves garlic, minced
1 19-ounce can cannellini beans, rinsed
2 Tbsp red-wine vinegar
1/4 tsp salt
1/4 tsp freshly ground pepper
1/2 cup freshly shredded pecorino or fontina cheese
2/3 cup toasted breadcrumbs (store bought or freshly made)
crushed red pepper flakes to taste

Directions
Bring a large pot of water to a boil. Add pasta and cook. Stir in broccolini during the last 2 to 3 minutes. Drain and set aside. Dry pot. Whisk the broth and flour in a small bowl until smooth. Heat oil in the pot over medium-high heat. Add garlic and cook, stirring constantly about 30 seconds, until fragrant. Add the broth mixture and bring to a simmer, whisking constantly, until it thickens, about 3 to 4 minutes (do not overcook here or it will become too thick). Add beans, vinegar, salt and pepper and the pasta and broccolini. Cook, stirring, until everything is heated through. Remove from the heat; add cheese, stirring until it melts. Serve immediately, topped with toasted breadcrumbs and crushed red pepper flakes.

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